Skip to main content

Pfizer or Moderna for your booster shot? B.C. immunologists weigh in

At some B.C. COVID-19 vaccine clinics, including the province’s largest at the Vancouver Convention Centre, patients are given a choice between receiving Pfizer or Moderna for their booster shot.

Joshua Mann, who had Pfizer for his first two doses, chose Moderna for his booster during his appointment on Thursday.

“My friends and I were talking about it today, because a couple of other people were getting their boosters as well, and we were told that it’s good to mix,” said Mann.

Brenna Maclean, whose first two shots were Moderna, decided to stick with Moderna for her booster.

“(It) sounds kind of silly, all my friends have Moderna, I wanted to be part of the Moderna gang,” she said after receiving her shot.

So is mixing and matching the right decision, or should people stay the course with the same vaccine? CTV News Vancouver spoke to two experts who agree both choices are good.

“They are MRNA vaccines, so they are really, really similar. I don’t think it matters,” said Simon Fraser University professor emeritus and immunologist Dr. Jamie Scott.

University of British Columbia immunologist Dr. Kelly McNagny agrees.

“The differences between the Pfizer and Moderna are so minimal, that it’s really almost impossible to say which one would be a better one,” he said, comparing the choice to deciding between French vanilla and vanilla ice cream.

“Some people like one or the other. It won’t make a difference, honestly, it won’t,” he said.

While the experts agree both vaccines are equally good boosters, they differ on when they think people who’ve had a previous infection should get the shot.

Scott believes those with a recent COVID-19 case should wait two or three months, since their infection has given their immune system a boost already. McNagny says because other illnesses can mimic COVID-19 and the antibody response to confirmed infections can vary, people should get boosted right away.

“I would rather err on the side of once you have a cold, COVID or not, and your symptoms are gone, go get a boost to make sure you’re absolutely maximally protected,” said McNagny.

They both urge everyone, previously infected or not, to get the booster. With Omicron raging, vaccine recipients at the Vancouver Convention Centre were grateful for the third dose.

“(I’m) really excited, I have a lot of friends in the U.S. who’ve been boosted for awhile, so I was eager,” said MacLean.

“Yeah it feels good, I’m excited,” said Mann, with a laugh. “Let’s get on with things now.” Top Stories


LIVE UPDATES War in Ukraine 'must end with our victory' Zelenskyy tells Parliament, PM pledges $650M in aid

Addressing a joint session of Parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy offered repeated thanks to Canada for its continued support for his country as it continues to defend itself from Russia's invasion. In his introductory remarks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada will be making a $650 million "multi-year commitment" for further Ukraine aid.

McNaughton is third Ford cabinet minister to resign in past 3 weeks

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced on Friday he is stepping away from politics after accepting a job in the private sector. McNaughton is the third minister to resign from Premier Doug Ford's cabinet this month, though he said his departure is not connected to the unfolding Greenbelt development scandal.

Stay Connected